Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More on the draft horse thing

I meant to add this onto the previous post, but somehow forgot (talent). My excuse is that it's late, and I'm tired. So there. ;)

 To continue though!! Don't these pics look like something straight out of 'Lord of the Rings'? I am positively swooning over every bit of it. The cart, the gorgeous horse, the harness, everything! Now, if only there was a Hobbit in that cart.... ;) 

The pretty mare turns out to be a Shire/ Hackney cross (be still my beating heart!), and is FOR SALE. [gag, choke, sputter] Alas, methinks she's a wee bit beyond my price range right now. Phooey.

You can see her ad, HERE. (Although, maybe I shouldn't give you the link... I don't want any competition on this girl!) 

Dreaming Of The Day

When I will have leather reins in my hands, and a sturdy draft horse (or two!) working in front of me...

The day will come. Of that I am sure... I will, someday, have my own team...

Until then, I'll just feed the dream with many trustworthy books on the subject, and THIS handy, dandy website. :) 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


The countdown has officially begun...

 My goat workshop will be held this Saturday...

I feel a mix of terror and confidence as I prepare for the event...

 Terror at the thought of failing, or not doing a good enough job. Many of the people coming are driving from a fair distance, and some from out of state. Will I be able to give them the knowledge that they are paying to get? Will I be able to teach them thoroughly and properly? Will I be able to stretch each class to the full hour I've signed it to be? I quake in my boots thinking about possible failure...

But then, I take heart, knowing that I fully KNOW what I will be teaching, I have the lunch figured out, I was able to sign a friend up to help me if I need assistance, and it looks like the group coming is a pretty friendly bunch.

It's mostly at night that the fear comes... I'm exhausted as I lay in bed, and I think to myself, "I can't do Saturday... I can't do it..." So now, every night I have to mentally tell myself that though I'm tired now, I will feel better in the morning, and I WILL pull Saturday off! I'm still working on getting those last-minute things in order (and boy howdy do they pile up!) but I will nevertheless be glad when Saturday has come and gone.

Wish me luck! 

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Love Sunflowers

They are in every sense, a smile in plant form. :) How can ya' not like that!?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Barnheart: A name for the disease

Picture credit goes to Jenna Woginrich at Cold Antler Farm

I always wondered if there was a name for the disease from which I have suffered for so many years... And I found out today that there has been a diagnosis. It's called "Barnheart".

 Symptoms are a painful feeling within, that range from a slow, constant ache, to a fiery, unbearable stab. The pain is there... I feel it every moment, both day and night. I want my own farm with an intensity that sometimes frightens me. I can hear it... The dream calls, beckons, and lures me... The only way to relieve the pressure, is to follow the dream. Someday, I'll do it. I'll have my own farm.

 Until then, I must suffer through this malady called Barnheart, which you can read more about, HERE.

Friday, August 26, 2011

An 'Aha!' Moment

I finally figured it out.

I've heard a lot of people comment on how their tiny, 40 lb. Nigerian dwarf goats had such huge personalities, but I never really understood what they meant. How can a pint sized animal have a "bigger" personality than a standard sized goat?

I had the "Aha!" moment only just today. A revelation, really.

Poppet is hilarious, let me just state that fact right now. She honestly thinks that she is huge. She has no idea that she is shorter than my 8 week old Nubian, or that she doesn't even reach Heidi's knee. In her eyes, she is a Mastiff. A Great Dane. A towering giant that all look up to. She's been nicknamed "Barn Troll" lately, as she pushes her way out of the gate by force (if a 21 lb. goat can use force) and commandeers my role in bunking everyone down. She oversees everything in life, and isn't afraid to give her opinion in matters. She keeps the does in line, and breaks up fights. If you wanna' wrestle, you have to do it with her. She rules the roost, steals everyone's feed, gets the best spot at the hay manger, and charms all who meet her. She. Is. Poppet.

Her personality is HUGE! I finally understand why these small goats are so wildly popular here in the USA. So now I'm one of those strange folk who will say in a vague way that 'Nigerians have big personalities', and then I'll leave you at that. ;)  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

You know you're a farm girl when....

 Being a farm girl is filled with contrary notes. We balance between maintaining our femininity, and proving to the guys that we can do things just as well (if not better, sometimes!) as they can. I can't even count how many times I have laughed at myself for my conflicting appearance. With my long hair coiled into a bun, wearing a nice skirt, donning dirty muck boots, a Carrhartt coat that smells like buck goat, and leather gloves with holes in them; I suppose I do make a funny sight! ;) Farm Girl, I Am.

 You know you're a farm girl when...

Your pocket knife is treasured more than a cell phone or make-up kit.
You don't mind hugging buck goats, or stinky cows.
Day-old chicks make you happy.
The most worn pair of shoes you own are your rubber rain boots.
And the boots have flowers on them. ;)
You consider dirt as makeup, and hay as hair baubles.
In your coat pockets, you find bobby pins, lip balm, unused elastrator bands, screws, and hay chaff.
You say good morning to the chickens, and address them as "Ladies".
You wear your muddy boots into town.
You know how to work a drill and fencing pliers, but you can't for the life of you figure out that contraption called a "curling iron" that so many other girls use these days.
You either use hairspray that has a strength of 10, or you just don't even bother to put your hair up.
Your closet consists of an array of clothing that used to be considered 'nice'. They might still be, if they didn't have those bleach spots, and rips in them.
You dream of the day when you have leather gloves that don't have holes in them!
Or maybe just having gloves that fit?
Guys typically scare you, unless they're helping buck hay or otherwise make themselves useful.
Your idea of a late night is staying up until 9:30.
You sport a very nice farmer's tan almost the whole year around.
You find hay under your shirt at the end of the day.
You call all the animals "dearie", "honey", and "darlin'". Whether it's a 1,000 lb. steer, or a small chicken.
Your idea of a manicure is to clip your fingernails even shorter than they already are.
When looking for clothes, you always hit the thrift stores first, and you look for what's on sale.
You give up trying to look "nice" when you're at home, since it's inevitable that an animal will slobber on you, you'll snag your clothes on the fencing, or you will engage in a sporadic weeding spree. But in the end, that's all okay, since you are after all....

A farm girl...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Penny's little doeling.... My sweet little bottle baby. :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Here At The End Of All Things...

To quote Frodo from 'Return of the Kings': "It's done! It's gone!"

And so it seems to be... But here in my case, I am speaking of the "mystery illness" that rampaged through the goat herd. It seems to have finally run its brutal course, and I am left to survey the damage... I lost 5 precious goats...

First was Penny, whom you have already read about...

Then we lost Nickel, who would have been my herdsire...

 Then Samwise Gamgee....

And then my sweet doeling, Chamomile... My show goat, my future milker, my girlie with the ripped ear... Gone. 

Lastly was Frodo... That was hard...

 After Frodo died, a movie line came to mind. 

It was Frodo saying to Sam, "I'm glad to be here with you, Samwise Gamgee, here at the end of all things..."

Here at the end of all things...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stand Up for Fair Food in Oregon!

If you raise or grow food to sell, how would you like to wake up in the morning to this at your door?

They'll introduce themselves as the SWAT team, and they're here for you. Your crime? It could be many things. Perhaps you were selling some raw milk from your little goat to your next door neighbor. Perhaps you sold some organically grown vegetables to your aunt who lives in town. Or maybe you made a nice pound cake to sell at a fundraising event. It doesn't matter what it was. You don't have the freedom to do any of those things, and if your caught, guess who comes calling.... They do. 

I've said it before.... Our food system has been corrupted. The small farmers who have their head screwed on straight get raided by SWAT teams, and are arrested. They provide good, clean food and get punished. Meanwhile, the big Ag bosses continue to sell contaminated food, that people continue to eat, and they are rewarded with tax subsidies and are given no trouble. Am I the only one who sees something wonky with this picture?

I wanted to let y'all know that the Food and Water Watch is collecting signatures for their Fair Farm Bill petition, and you Oregonians are needed! FaWW would like to deliver 2,000 signatures to Senator Wyden, here in OR, next week. Right now they have a little over 1,400 signatures and only have 6 more days to get the last 600 people needed! Of course, you don't have to live in the State of Oregon to sign the Fair Farm Bill petition. Once 50,000 signatures from all over the nation have been collected, they will be delivered to the members of Congress. We need to speak up and let our government know what we think!!

To read more about the petition, and to sign it, click HERE. 

Bath Time

It was time....

Poor Capri had been nicknamed "The Wraith", for her appearance, which could only be described as "Gray, dingy, dim, and pathetic."

She needed a bath.

So, armed with fluffy towels, lavender scented conditioner, goat milk soap, and lots of water, I went and found my victim....

She didn't believe me when I told her she needed a bath, and was very opinionated about the whole matter. To a goat, the only thing worse than death is getting wet.

And she was about to get REALLY wet.

Capri was a trooper the whole time, and resigned herself to many bubbles and listening to me sing the "bubble song". ;) I did still catch her muttering under her breath, things like "catching her death of cold", and "Much too wet for her liking" though... Hehe.

As you can see in these pictures, she is still quite thin, but at least she is CLEAN now!! :)  Capri is making a rapid recovery, and is gaining more weight each day. She even romped with the kids this morning. 

I will give an update on the goats soon, maybe tomorrow. But as for now, you shall have to be content with squeaky clean goats.

I love watching her walk in the pasture... She glimmers and shines beneath the sunlight....

And she is clean. The End.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pacing Myself

I admit that I have a hard time pacing myself in life. My "Git 'er done" attitude gets in the way and I find myself constantly pushing, pushing, pushing to accomplish things, and to stretch my self. I forget that it's okay to slow down, and just breathe. To pace myself. To watch myself....

 Lately, I've been biking in the evenings to get out some pent up energy that I've had... And even in that, I have to continuously remind myself that I am not in the Olympics. That it IS okay to slow down and pace myself. I find myself biking faster and faster; watching the miles fall behind me, and wanting more... I crave the speed and the physical labor that comes with it, but I need to pace myself...

 My life is like that... I want to do things NOW. I want to accomplish tasks ahead of me. I can see them; I push myself to my limits, trying to get to them. Forever striving, reaching, pushing, working... Why can't I remember to pace myself!?!? I always feel that if I don't push myself to my utter limit, I have somehow failed... I fail a lot in life.

Tonight's bike ride was nice. I only had time for a quick 2 mile ride before the goats started calling me, but I wish I could have gone further. A pack of coyotes wailed from a grove of pine trees to my left and I could hear them trotting through the brush as they finished their song.... The gravel road was delightfully bumpy; one of those really good ones with potholes everywhere, and it feels like your teeth and eyeballs are going to fall out from the constant jostling. :) I like those kinds. The speed and uneven movement reminded me a lot of my rodeo days... How I miss doing the barrel races on a trusty horse! To feel 1000 lbs. of flesh moving in time to your cues, as you maneuver through the course... It ain't as easy as it looks, folks!

 I came home feeling satisfied.... I still wish I could have gone at least another mile, but luckily there is always tomorrow...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Food Matters

As I was milking this morning, I got to thinking about just how important food is. A lot of people tell me that it's not, and that food doesn't matter. My answer to this is:

"If you don't think food is important, don't eat a single thing for a week, and then come back and tell me that food is not important." 

That usually does the trick. ;) As I've been mulling over what I wanted to say in this post, and finding out that I much too brain-dead today to say anything brilliant, I happened to stumble onto a new DVD that looks quite intriguing. The title?

'Food Matters' 

I have always believed that you are what you eat. It just makes sense! Look around at our society and you will see a nation of failing health. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. I'm sorry if I just burst your bubble today, or if I offended you. Then again, maybe I'm not.... Maybe we need some toe-stepping-on these days to wake us up to the fact that things aren't right. Why should we expect store bought cow milk to keep us healthy, when it's been pasteurized, and thus turned into a dead liquid. Folks, that stuff doesn't even supply your body with calcium. Your body rejects it all. Or why should we expect that our store bought beef will give us nutrients when the cattle have been fed chicken manure, GMO grains, and candy wrappers, and then pumped with a hormone to make it tender (because in reality, it ain't tender on its own). Oh yeah, and lets not forget the red dye that's added to make the beef red instead of the anemic pink it normally is.

Which is more expensive? Doctor bills, hospital bills, and maybe even things like cancer treatment. Or REAL foods like grass fed beef (that you have seen for yourself how it was raised), raw milk and organic vegetables? Try doing the math there. I'll be an acorn to an oak that it's cheaper to change your diet, than it is to keep on paying doctor bills.

 This is where you groan about the grocery bill that would sky rocket with such a change, right? Well, what would your grocery bill look like if you stopped buying all those pre-packaged foods? No Doritos or Corn Chips. No sodas or frozen orange juice, and throw out those cereals!! Now what does that grocery bill look like? Shucks, if you stopped buying pre-packaged foods, and you didn't need to go to a doctor anymore because your health was better since the diet switch, I'll be you would either be even, or you would be spending less.

 Back to the movie now.... This is definitely on my list of "must see" movies.

 Food Matters. You are what you eat. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Folks, This Ain't Normal

Okay, one more Salatin thing and then I'll try to move on to different subjects. Coming to bookstores on October 10th, 2011 is Joel's latest book titled 'Folks, this ain't normal'! I can't wait to read it!

Folks, This Ain't Normal


is written in Salatin's entertaining and informative style that reflects his dirt-under- the- fingernails experience punctuated with mischievious humor , and yet it's a serious look at our food: where it comes from, it's current state of abnormality - and why we shouldn't eat most of it. FOLKS,it ain't normal to eat unpronounceable food that you can't make in your kitchen, and has travelled 1,500 miles to get to your table.
Farmer Joel Salatin is the 21st century's thinking man's farmer who believes that the answer to rebuilding America is to start with the family farm and for those farms to thrive, we all need to learn how to eat naturally again. Salatin's solutions as presented in the book are very simple and easy to implement in any American household - whether in the suburbs of Chicago, the mountains of Colorado, or urban life in New York City. When it comes to food we can make a big difference by putting our money where our mouth is: all it takes is desire, education and shopping and cooking savvy. Statistics say that 25 percent of all food in America is consumed in automobiles - now that's a statistic that Farmer Joel Salatin wants to change!

Salatin Comes to Oregon

I was so ecstatic this morning, when I received an e-mail with the big news that Joel Salatin will be in Corvallis, OR from August 19th to the 21st! I have no idea how I would/will get to one of the events, or how I will scrounge up the money for one (I'm eyeing the Field Day which is $90. Ouch.) but I will try my best!!

You can read more about this upcoming event at:

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Work in Progress....

This is the beginning of my blog change. I'll be tweaking it by and by, until I get things just how I want them.... What think ye'?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Forewarning....

I wanted to forewarn y'all that this blog is going to have some radical changes made to it soon. It grieves me to say that Mennagerie Farm is now on hiatus. Whether permanently or not, I can't say; but for the time being, it is no more. It died a death I had hoped not to see, and it lies in the ashes of dead dreams....

 This blog will still remain very active, but it will be known by a different name soon, and have a different look.

See y'all later...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Perfect Beauty

A lone Trillium...

No words in the English language can do justice of its perfect beauty, therefore, I shall leave off here....